West Virginia has three practices left in Morgantown before breaking for the Christmas holiday and reconvening in Miami on Dec. 29 for the Orange Bowl.
Coach Dana Holgorsen reported this week that practice has been going well, and the team turned its focus to Clemson Wednesday after spending six practices getting reps for younger players and non-starters.
The team is expected to land at Miami International Airport around 2:30 p.m. on the 29th to water cannon salutes on the tarmac as the team disembarks from the plane.
NOTES: Holgorsen said starting strong safety Terence Garvin has undergone surgery for cartilage damage after the South Florida game and has six months of rehab in front of him.
His replacement in the Orange Bowl, said Holgorsen, is up for grabs.
“We have Wes Tonkery – he has been taking a bunch of snaps. He looks good to me. He looks as good as he has all year. Shaq Petteway is going to get in there and play some. Matt Moro is a guy that needs to get in there and play some. We have guys that are inexperienced and haven’t played much. We have gone into a game without Terence before. We got in there and overcame it, so we expect to overcome this one as well.”
Backup DL Josh Taylor will also miss the Orange Bowl with cartilage damage.
RB Vernard Roberts, meanwhile, is academically ineligible for the Orange Bowl. He is the only player who is an “academic casualty.”
Holgorsen said the team had seven players finish the semester with a 4.0 GPA and another 35 finish with a 3.0.
“I am very proud on how they did academically," he said. "I think being able to go to the Orange Bowl got these guys to kick it into high gear these last two weeks and finish really strong,” said Holgorsen.
Big East Bowl schedule:
Belk Bowl • Dec. 27: Louisville vs. North Carolina State, 8 p.m., ESPN
New Era Pinstripe Bowl • Dec. 30: Rutgers vs. Iowa State, 3:20 p.m., ESPN
AutoZone Liberty Bowl • Dec. 31: Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt, 3:30 p.m., ABC
BBVA Compass Bowl • Jan. 7: Pittsburgh vs. SMU, 1 p.m., ESPN